module specification

CT5002 - Mobile Communications Systems (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Mobile Communications Systems
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
150 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Problem sheet
Coursework 30%   Lab report
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

This module examines the technology underlying current and future mobile wireless systems. It provides the essential theoretical principles and concepts encountered in the design of typical modern communications systems. Various analogue and digital modulation schemes essential for information transmission are examined, including the detrimental effect of noise in limiting system performance.

Prior learning requirements

Successfully completed Level 4 or equivalent



• Propagation of EM waves through free-space and the atmosphere. Free-space propagation model, reflection, diffraction, scattering, link budget design. Fading and multipath effects, techniques of space and frequency diversity. Doppler effect. Noise as a fundamental parameter in communication systems. Sources and characteristics of internal and external noise.

• Antennas - launching and radiation of EM waves into free space near and far field, directivity, radiation pattern and radiation resistance, concepts of antenna gain, beam-width and effective aperture.

• Modulation techniques for mobile radio. Multiple Access Techniques: FDMA, TDMA and CDMA.

• Multiplexing, FDM/TDM, T1 System, PDH, synchronous/Synchronous Transmission techniques and Networks.

• Introduction to existing and emerging technologies, including 5G, IoT & UWB.

• Cellular concepts and system design fundamentals. Introduction to wireless communication: Evolution of mobile communications, mobile radio systems - examples, trends in cellular radio and personal communications. Cellular system design and relevant issues: fading, sectoring, signal power loss analysis and calculation using plane wave propagation approach, coherence bandwidth of mobile systems under different mobile environments, frequency reuse, channel assignment, hand off, interference and system capacity, tracking and grade-of-service, improving coverage and capacity in cellular systems.


• Communications lab.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be expected to carry out independent background study to familiarise themselves with the platforms and tools that will be used during the module. The module includes online learning material via Weblearn (VLE), face-to-face delivery of content, teaching/tutorial and assessment activities, student support and feedback.

Learning outcomes

LO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamentals of cellular systems, typical system architecture, related concepts and principles including transmission characteristics and techniques associated with the operation of mobile transmission and reception;

LO2 Explain the various modulation/demodulation techniques (using appropriate mathematics to prove principles) and factors that affect radio wave propagation;

LO3 Apply appropriate concepts and principles of communications engineering to analyse simple real-world problems and synthesise appropriate solutions;

LO4 Design, implement, analyse and critically evaluate wireless communication systems in small groups during laboratory sessions utilising your transferable skills and produce professional documentation with an insight to related regulatory framework and public good

Assessment strategy

Problem sheets (formative instruments) have been designed to help the students to apply concepts and principles of communications engineering. Problem sheets should be used by students to gauge their knowledge and understanding to promote learning outcomes LO1-LO3. The coursework (50%), which is formative and summative assessment, consists of two components. Coursework-1 is based on various design and analytical problems and promotes LO1-LO3. Feedback is provided to promote understanding. Coursework-2 is based on laboratory work which concludes with a formal report (1500 words) and promotes LO4. Students maintain a record of their work in a logbook, and formative assessment is provided through inspection and feedback of the logbook. The final assessment (summative) is a closed-book end of module 2-hour unseen examination (50%), which is used to assess LO1-LO3. The module will be passed on the aggregate coursework and exam marks which is equal to or greater than 40%.



Louis Frenzel (2016), Principles of Electronic Communication Systems, ISBN 978-0-07-337385-0

W Tomasi (2013), Advanced Electronic Communications Systems, Pearson, ISBN: 9781292027357

J Beasley, J Hymer, G Miller (2013), Electronic Communications: A System Approach, Pearson, ISBN: 9780132988636

Young (2004), Electronic Communications Techniques, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0130482854

D C Green (2000), Radio Communication, Pearson, ISBN-10:0582369088

Miller & Beasley (2008), Modern Electronic Communication, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0132251132

Ziemer & Tranter (2014), Principles of Communications: Systems, Modulation & Noise, Wiley, ISBN 978118078914

Tomasi (2004), Electronic Communications System: Fundamentals Through Advanced, Prentice Hall ISBN: 0-13-049492-5

Schweber (2002), Electronic Communication Systems: A Complete Course, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-091621-8


Journal of Communications and Networks

IEEE Communications Magazine

IET Communications


Websites: IEEE xplore